The Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Tongariro National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Crossing is described as New Zealand’s BEST day hike, and one of the best in the World! If you haven’t yet completed this 19.4km day trek across incredible volcanic scenery then you are truly missing out!
Completing this hike has been on my NZ bucket list for quite some time now, and I am beyond stoked with the fact Scott & I just did it.
Length – 19.4km ( with added side tracks if you choose – highly recommend adding the summit in)
Time – 6-8hours depends on how long you spend stopping and admiring the breathtaking scenery.
We did the Tongariro Summit as well, spent about an hour down at the Emerald Lakes flying the drone and it took us just over 6hours.
Here is the government website brochure with timings and detailed information about each section.
Getting there – We stayed in Taupo the night before which is roughly an hours drive from the starting carpark. We organised a Shuttle to take us to the start of the track, and parked at the finish point.
Shuttles – I booked with MOUNTAIN SHUTTLE , $30 per person and they drop you at the recommended starting point of the track.
WHAT DO I NEED TO TAKE?
ALL WEATHER CLOTHING (RAIN/WIND-PROOF JACKET/PANTS/ WARM CLOTHING)
FOOD/DRINKS/WATER (None available on track, Do not drink water from streams!)
FOOTWEAR Sturdy comfortable hiking boots or closed in footwear with good solid grip soles. I wore just Nike trainers which were fine, however make sure they are comfortable and not going to give you blisters – I couldn’t imagine doing the track with sore feet!
HATS x2 (sunhat & beanie)
THERMALS (warm clothing/wool/fleece) We completed the Hike on 14th May 2017, it was a high of 4degrees all day, so check the weather and pack accordingly!
Sunglasses, First Aid Kit, Sunscreen, Camera & Toilet Paper!
TOILETS – there are toilets along the track, with signs telling you how long until the next one. There is no toilet paper so pack some in your bags.
Also – a tip, dont wait until the LAST toilet as you are likely to have a rather long wait with everyone queuing up!
You can walk the track in either direction, although there is less climbing if you walk from Mangatepopo (1120 m) to Ketetahi (760 m) – This is the option I would highly recommend!
Shuttle buses operate for walking in this direction, with services to Mangatepopo in the morning and back from Ketetahi in the afternoon. Allow an extra hour to walk the track in reverse from Ketetahi to Mangatepopo.
We parked at Ketetahi Carpark, and caught the shuttle from there to Mangatepopo to start our Hike.
Ketetahi Carpark gets extremely busy, so arrive early to make sure you get a carpark as you just park along the side of the road.
Mount Tongariro Summit
Personally , I feel no Tongariro Crossing is complete without getting to the Summit!
In saying that, it is an extra 1-2 hour return hike, and clear visibility with no strong wind is required to safely climb Mount Tongariro.
At the Summit you truly get some of the most spectacular views of the National Park including Mount Ruapehu & the perfectly formed Mount Ngauruhoe.
The Emerald Lakes have to be the most photographed part of the Tongariro Crossing and for very good reason!
Look how stunning they are!!!
The incredible colour is formed by minerals leaching into the thermal areas which are still steaming around the lakes and red crater areas.
The water is cold and acidic, and they freeze over in winter ( or even parts of them in MAY!) We were watching people throwing rocks onto the Ice to try and crack it but they were having no luck at all.
HERE’S A COLLECTION OF PHOTOS FROM THE DAY TO GET YOU INSPIRED TO DO IT TOO!
AND A VIDEO TO CAPTURE IT FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE <3